Saturday, April 11, 2009

Eagle Conquers Dumbarton Br 4-11-09

On the road at 7AM, I got the Eagle over the San Francisco Bay on the Dumbarton Bridge. Up until a few weeks ago, I was intimidated by this, what I saw as an obstruction to west to east travel. In Feb when I got the Eagle, and could barely get it going on flat land, let alone try to do any kind of uphill work, it scared me to think about ascending a bridge path walled in by noise, barricades, wind and noisy 65 mph traffic. But I did it! And easily! I even took pictures which you can see here. Yahoo!!

What challenged me was not the bridge but the atrocious condition of the frontage road that leads off   of it into Fremont.  I did discover that the side closest to the water is a wee bit smoother as water may drain off  of it easier. It was bad for me on the Eagle, tho not nearly as bad when I came though here on my Ordinaries. As I say at the map I drew up for today's ride, the wretched asphalt is  a real detriment to cyclists wanting to explore this area or either side of the Bay. 

It almost seems as though CalTrans doesn't want cyclists to use this bridge for transportation because once you then survive this horrid 3 mile road (pictured at left as it leads away from the freeway while you cannot see the little rocks poking out where the rain has washed away the asphalt that makes it all smooth - with more of it before you reach Thornton Rd), instead of being able to go over the toll plaza where there is a bridge fed by a path, you cannot access the road (Quarry Rd) that takes you up to Paseo Padre because they have it all fenced off. 

On the way back, a guy in an 18-wheeler did lift my spirits when he gave me  a couple toots and a thumbs up sign. 

Remember these? This phone booth was in the parking lot at the  Don Edwards Natl Wildlife Refuge. And it looked like it was still usable!

This is what the salt ponds look like if the horrible road does not distract you to much.

On the way back, the traffic is coming right at you......

The land mass south of the rail bridge is San Jose. The gap you see on the hills leads to Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay Area

Well below the present Dumbarton lies the original bridge that was the first to cross the Bay in 1928. 

25 miles in all, what a confidence builder this ride was.  I think the Eagle and I are just about ready!!

btw: I added twelve more miles this evening with a few warm down errands. At this Route. you ca see some of the amazing, almost rural, bike paths I get to  use here in Palo Alto.....

This is the string of bike paths I used:
Hanover Hill to Bol Park Bike Path secret - Photos !!
Barron Park Bike Path - Photos !! 
Los Alto Bike Path - Photos !! 

       THX 4 all of U!!  

Start 0ft
1 2.99mi It was here in 2008 that we got the Buscycle up to 21 mph!
2 3.42mi Nice baseball park complex to the left here
3 3.57mi Enter bike path on dike
4 4.07mi Cross Slough here
5 4.72mi Dirt path begins here
6 6.57mi Enter bike path - I was here in 35 mins! (trail at 84 and University) 
7 7.70mi Enter bridge bike path - concrete walls ~ 4 feet tall on both sides - noise is astounding - ear plugs advisable during rush hour
8 8.28mi Take picture here on way back of rail bridge that you can see in the bay just south of here - this could make for an excellent bike crossing of the Bay and could become a recreational feature of this region that would also encourage family use...
9 8.95mi Enter frontage road - wretched asphalt, a real detriment to cyclists wanting to explore this area or either side of the Bay. As on bike path leading up to it from the Peninsula side, at least the noise of the freeway is less here as it is not walled in by the concrete barricades
10 11.42mi Small hill here
11 11.72mi A left turn here take you on a path that goes over the top of the toll plaza for the bridge. But if you are using this route for transportation you may as well give up. The only alternative is to use slow, out of the way dirt trails to ultimately get to Paseo Padre. TO REMEDY THIS, A GATE SHOULD BE PUT IN THAT CYCLISTS WITH A CARD CAN OPEN SO THEY CA GET ON QUARRY RD AND THEN TO PASEO PADRE SAVING THEM EASILY HALD AN HOUR OF TRAVEL IS GOING TO HAYWARD, OAKLAND OR BERKELEY, ETC
12 11.96mi Parking lot for Don Edwards Natl Wildlife Refuge
13 15.14mi Remembering that I actually saw about 5 cyclists on the bridge today. 2 coming toward me and three that passed as I was taking pictures!
14 17.98mi Horrible asphalt for a few blocks here
15 19.06mi Timed the light just right so I could hit the overpass from a green light
16 19.68mi This left is a first for me. I usually take University all the way into downtown cuz I like seeing all the mansions on the way
17 20.14mi I should have turned left to Melville - next tme.....
18 22.18mi Post Office Box
19 22.23mi Molly Stones - buy brown rice
End 24.00mi

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